Dear GT friends,
Many of us met in Denmark , and once more we had some great days together in a great conference. Lots of people had the chance to tell about the great work being done in many countries all over the globe, and as always, these workshops are most interesting.
Of course everybody enjoyed a John’s vivid inspiration presentation to all of us in three different speeches. Toni Stark had a very interesting speech about our presence, one of our tools, when working with people with special needs. Thanks to both!
We thank the people of Solund, Sodisbakke and Bavnebjerg, the municipality of Skanderborg and Region North for the hard work. 270 multilingual people were served in almost 4 days and only minor misunderstandings occurred.
Lasse from Denmark/Sweden gave a very personal talk about experiencing ourselves in difficult situations, which was very inspiring and quite different from his way of working in daily life, or maybe not? I know some of our English speaking guest did not always understand Lasse's subtle understatements, but they appreciated his talk anyway. Thanks Lasse!
The two speeches in the beginning from local professors were not quite what we expected, but personally I find it useful to meet people who do not necessarily understand or appreciate our way of working. It gives us better tools in making us understandable in other situations. And both speeches could help us understand that highly intellectual understanding is fine, sometimes funny and useful, but absolutely not enough! It is sad to see our work as just changing behaviors. Our first and upmost goal with our work is meeting the people where they are, and giving them our unconditional love, no matter if they change or not!
Nobody can be changed by us, but we can create a frame (of love) that helps people change themselves. Very simple, actually, but difficult to "understand" if you cannot use your heart.
We had a very good meeting on our board. We made several decisions, and Cam will place a short update on the meeting on this site. One of the initiatives was the creation of a group with GT researchers all over the globe, trying to gather the common knowledge on Gentle Teaching. Dieter will, together with a professor from Gent University in the lead, try to make our communication work. I know Pouwel will make a group on Facebook, so everybody can follow this work and come with input as well. GTI will always be an open forum.
We had two new local GTI boards started at the conference. Angela from Greece went home and created a board with several partners in her country, already preparing the Conference in Crete in 2014. We know Greece has a difficult period right now, but Angela will probably be sure whether it will work out or not in January of February. We hope she can make it, and we have the time to wait for a solution!!
Vivi in Denmark promised me to contact the people in Denmark, and I asked her to take the lead of the Danish GT board.
Please inform me when GT initiatives are taken in other countries.
As for now, we know that next year’s conference is in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. We have been there before and we know that Tim and Connie, Mike and others will make a great conference. In our next newsletter we will announce the exact date.
After Saskatoon and Greece, we will try to be in Brazil.
John talked so much about Brazil, I almost feels as if I have been there!
Brazil (and India) are the countries in the world with the fastest growing middle classes, which is great, but we all know that this is only the beginning for people who need support. As for now Brazil is a poor country with many impoverished people.
I hope to give you some more news in a month or two!
Chair GTI board